October 9, 2001 - World Net Daily

'JIHAD': Unmasking America's new enemy

"To kill Americans and their allies, civilians, and military is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it." -- Osama bin Laden, Feb. 23, 1998

America is at war, but who is the enemy - the real enemy?

Like the patient who has just learned his body is riddled throughout with cancer, most Americans discovered on Sept. 11 that while they were living their busy lives, concerned with family and work -- a cancer has been growing and metastasizing in their midst.

The fear of further and deadlier attacks on the U.S. mainland, coupled with disturbing reports of terror co-conspirators in this nation just waiting for orders to strike, has understandably caused America - the ultimate land of religious tolerance - to scrutinize closely, for the first time, all things Islamic.

Yet, Islam, which claims 1.2 billion adherents worldwide - and 3 to 7 million in the U.S. -- is largely unknown and mysterious to most Westerners.

"Islam is a religion of peace," Americans are constantly reassured, the terrorists supposedly comprising only a deadly lunatic fringe of a few hundred or even a few thousand who have "hijacked" Islam to philosophically justify their murderous hatred of the West.

Not so. While President Bush in his historic Sept. 20 speech "dismissed al-Qaida's version of Islam as a repudiated 'fringe form of Islamic extremism,'" explains Mideast expert Daniel Pipes, "Muslims on the streets of many places - Pakistan and Gaza in particular - are fervently rallying to the defense of al-Qaida's vision of Islam. Likewise, the president's calling the terrorists 'traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam' implies that other Muslims see them as apostates, which is simply wrong. Al-Qaida enjoys wide popularity ."

Without question, there are a great many law-abiding and peaceful practitioners of Islam in the U.S. and around the world. Islam is not monolithic, any more than Christianity is. And just as Christians would not want to have violent or criminal acts perpetrated by members of the Aryan Nations, Christian Identity or other nominally "Christian" groups blamed on Christianity, moderate Muslims understandably don't want to be tarred with the terrorist brush.

However, there is a big problem. "Christian Identity" and other nominally Christian fringe groups that clothe their racist or criminal actions with biblical authority are an infinitesimally small minority within the universe of those calling themselves Christian.

In stark contrast, militant Islamism is one of the fastest-growing movements in the world today. Like Communism and Nazism, Islamism is a brutal, coercive utopian movement - a politicized and virulent interpretation and implementation of Islam -- bent on nothing less than total world domination.

In fact, best estimates are that 10-15 percent of Muslims worldwide are of the militant Islamist strain. That means well over 100 million human beings are, to a greater or lesser degree, caught up with what amounts to the world's most dangerous cult.